The Gestalt psychologists, especially Max Wertheimer, developed a number of “laws” that predict how perceptual grouping occurs under a variety of circumstances (Wertheimer, 1923/1938). Technically, in sciences, laws are predictions that are true. In reality, these laws are better classified as principles, which are true most of the time. However, the term law has stuck with these principles because they were established so long ago. So we will continue to refer to them as laws, even though technically they are not scientific laws.
The Law of Good Continuation means that figures with edges that are smooth are more likely seen as continuous than edges that have abrupt or sharp angles.
Use this activity to explore how the Law of Good Continuation operates.
To see the illustration in full screen, which is recommended, press the Full Screen button, which appears at the top of the page.
Below is a list of the ways that you can alter the illustration. The settings include the following:
Vertical Sep: control the degree of vertical separation that breaks the Law of
----Vertical Pos: move the lines vertically in a way that keeps the Law of Good Continuation.
Horizontal Sep: control the degree of horizontal separation that breaks the Law of Good Continuation.
----Horz Pos: move the lines horizontally in a way that keeps the Law of Good Continuation.
Angle: adjust the angle at the intersection to change how good continuation is perceived.
Dashed Line: select this to make the lines dashed. Deselect to make the lines continuous.
Color: change the color of the right half of the image.
Pressing this button restores the settings to their default values.